Why not here? (1967 – short story) - Why not here? A Short Story from the June 1967 issue of the Socialist Standard Two observers from Outer Space peer at the earth through the porthole o...
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Militant Labour believes it is possible to achieve a minimum wage, full employment, good education and health services. Homelessness can be a thing of the past. We can end inequality and poverty.
But we would also need an economy which produces more than it does today and produced different things: for example, fewer office blocks and more houses at affordable prices or rents, fewer weapons and more public transport.
Art... is a form of work, and work is an activity peculiar to mankind . . . Man takes possession of the natural by transforming it. Work is transformation of the natural. Man also dreams of working magic upon nature, of being able to change objects and give them new form by magic means. This is the equivalent in the imagination of what work means in reality. Man is, from the outset, a magician.
Communism [or socialism] is not for us a state of affairs which is to be established... an ideal to which reality will have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions for this movement result from the premises now in existence. (Lawrence and Wishart, 1970 edition, pp 56-57.)
In reality and for the practical materialist, i.e. the communist, it is a question of revolutionising the existing world, of practically attacking and changing existing things. (p.62).
Both for the production on a mass scale of this communist consciousness, and for the success of the cause itself, the alteration of men on a mass scale is necessary, an alteration which can only take place in a practical movement, a revolution, (pp 94-5).
So far as therefore labour is the creator of use value, is useful labour, it is a necessary condition, independent of all forms of society, for the existence of the human race: it is an eternal nature-imposed necessity without which there can be no material exchanges between man and nature and therefore no life. (Capital, Vol.1, Chapter 1, section2).
The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whols community.
That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (i.e., land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class by whose labour alone wealth is produced.
That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess but do not produce, and those who produce but do not possess.
That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination ot the master class, by the conversion into the common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.
That as political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working-class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.
French soldiers are fighting in Morocco to acquire territory in which rise rivers capable of supplying power for electrification schemes which will prove of great advantage to French trade. When we have acquired the last zone of cultivatable. territory, when we have nothing hut mountains in front of us, we shall stop.
Our object is commercial and economic. The military expedition in Morocco is a means, not an end. Our object is the extension of foreign trade.
All the great offices of state are occupied with commercial affairs. The Foreign Office and the Colonial Office are chiefly engaged in finding new markets and in defending old ones. The War Office and the Admiralty are mostly occupied in preparations for the defence of those markets and for the protection of our commerce. — (Quoted in Empire and Commerce in Africa. L. S. Woolf, page 7.)